Henry Thoreau lived in a self-induced exile in Walden Pond for 2 years, 2 months, and 2 days, beginning on July 4, 1845. During this time he lived a simple life. He lived in a small simple cabin, with no exquisite things to keep his fancy. He passed his days surviving off his surroundings, playing his flute and recoding his musings in his daily journal. By participating in these humble activities, he was able to experience life in its purest and simplest form. He was able to view the beauty of nature by refraining from indulging in the good life. This idea still pertains to today’s society. In these modern times, life has become complicated. The beauty of life will only be seen again if life is simplified, which will never happen because of the constant invention of new technologies.
In the present, most everyone individually owns an array of electronic devices. Continuously being reinvented are cellular devices, tablets, mp3 players, laptop computers, computer themselves, televisions, etc. People that use and have possession of these devices are digitally in tune and are pioneers of a new, digital age. These devices provide comfort and security to their users. Unfortunately, along with the comfort and security are consumerist and frivolous feelings, as well as a barrage of distractions. These devices are supposed to be used to get things done. However, they just seem to upset lives. Along with access to resources that can help finish tasks, come many and multiple tempting distractions. Eventually, if the distractions were utilized and no self-control was present, eventually people would lose themselves in electronics, not seeing the beauty in life. Being distracted by electronics is one thing, but being distracted by surroundings is something far worse.
Humans have evolved, and as they have changed, they have made changes to their surroundings as well to best fit their current lifestyle. The surroundings right now are based on consumerism ideals, as materialism has found its way into peoples’ hearts. In Walden, Henry Thoreau urged humans to “Simplify, simplify” (383). However, the human race has decided to turn in the complete opposite direction. The simple, serene and picturesque natural landscapes that Thoreau graced are nowhere to be found. The majority of locales today are of concrete, urban jungles crawling with bright flashing lights, loud screeching noises and advertisements everywhere. These adverts, since humans are materialistic, try to prompt consumers to buy their frivolous products. These frivolous objects themselves are also something that cannot be simplified in our lives.
Society has begun to manufacture useless and frivolous products. Wealth around the world and the thought that there is excess money has made this possible. In reality, there is no excess wealth. There is only a small percentage of the world that holds the wealth. However, that does not stop the fact that products today are not necessities. Most items today are all a “want”, and people could do without. They are only status symbols and trinkets, and serve no purpose in daily life whatsoever. It is sad that the world today has come to this, where looks are valued more than functionality. Some products today are just stupid, and yet people still desire them.